Recent past sees significant IoT development for remote and health equipment monitoring
Can you describe any special features or technologies that differentiate your mining equipment from that of your competitors?
From a technology point of view, the recent past has witnessed a lot of development, especially in IoT, which is working towards remote monitoring, health monitoring of equipment.

Tata Hitachi uses Consite in the GI series of excavators to capture and send data on performance parameters like idle hours, operating hours, engine run hours, etc. It also sends alerts on any abnormal behavior in the equipment health like hydraulic oil temp going up, engine oil temp going up, etc., which help the customers, avoid failures on the engine/hydraulics.

Consite generates a monthly report and sends updates to customers. The analytics of the captured data help to improve the operational efficiency of the machines. Consite can be accessed through the website or an app.

What is your company's vision for the future of the mining industry in India, and how do you plan to contribute to its growth and development?
Tata Hitachi’s vision statement states the organisation’s focus is on mining in India. We have been working very closely with mining companies, mine operators, etc., which has become our listening and learning tools for our future development. Also, by being a part of Hitachi Construction Machinery, Japan, we get regular input on developments happening globally in the mining equipment industry. These updates help us make ourselves future-ready.

What types of mining equipment do you manufacture, and what is the range of products you offer?
Tata Hitachi is a joint venture and a subsidiary of Tata Motors, India, and Hitachi Construction Machinery, Japan. From a mining equipment point of view, the organisation produces excavators, dumpers, wheel loaders, and other attachments.

Tata Hitachi has manufacturing facilities in Kharagpur and Dharwad. Both plants have the latest technology in CNC machining centres, robotic centres, and a wide range of fixtures and manipulators for manufacturing world-class products. Tata Hitachi also has access to the product range of our parent company, Hitachi Construction Machinery, Japan.

Tata Hitachi offers excavators from 0.02 cu m bucket capacity to 6.5 cu m bucket capacity in India, of which excavators from 3.0 cu m to 6.5 cu m, bucket capacity are used in open-cast mines and are manufactured in India. Beyond 10 cu m and up to 45 cu m, Tata Hitachi offers excavators from Hitachi Construction Machinery, Japan. These excavators have the option of being diesel or electric-driven, depending on the requirements of customers.

In-case of wheel loaders up to 5 t payload are being manufactured in India, and those beyond 5T, which are 7 t, 9-10 t, and 11-12 t, are imported from Hitachi Construction Machinery, Japan. Hitachi also manufactures AC drive dumpers of 190 t, 240 t and 290 t classes, which are sold and serviced in India by Tata Hitachi. 

How do you ensure that your equipment meets the safety standards set by the Indian government and international organisations?
Tata Hitachi has a dedicated research and development department that is primarily engaged with various government statutory bodies like the DGMS (Directorate General of Mines Safety) and others that frequently interact with changes in safety standards and regulations. So that these regulations can be developed and incorporated into the equipment manufactured in India.

The Tata Hitachi team also constantly interacts with Hitachi Construction Machinery, Japan, and communicates about the latest developments and government updates so that the same can be incorporated in the machines that are offered to Indian customers.

How do you ensure that your products are environmentally sustainable and comply with environmental regulations?
Tata Hitachi has been developing products/features that can reduce the impact on the environment like controlling the wastage of hydraulic oil/exhaust gases from engines. 
The engines fitted on mining equipment are compliant with EPA tier I/II BS norms, etc. 

As these machines use hydraulic oils for operation, Tata Hitachi is currently using special hydraulic oils that come with extended changing intervals, resulting in reduction in wastage during the life of the equipment. 

What challenges do you anticipate facing in the mining equipment market in India over the next few years, and how do you plan to address them?
Mining is a tough job, and the mine operators work under tremendous cost pressure.
Plus the mining project duration varies from three to five years (operating period). The volatility of the economy, whether in manpower cost or fuel cost going up drastically, also affects the mining operations. If these cost increases are not factored in at the time of taking the contracts, the operating project cost may become unviable. 

How do you stay informed about changes in regulations and policies that may impact the mining equipment industry in India?
Tata Hitachi is part of various forums and industry associations where discussion on such changes in regulations and policies are held. There have been initiatives by the policy makers to involve the mining equipment manufacturers, which has also helped the organisation to be ready for the Indian market. 

How does your company work with mining companies to ensure that your equipment is integrated effectively into their operations?
Tata Hitachi offers solutions like full maintenance contracts/annual maintenance contracts. A competent crew is deployed at site for a defined period, which has the responsibility of ensuring the availability of working equipment. The team helps build competency at customer site by way of handholding/training the operators and informing them about maintenance of the equipment. These activities start once the equipment reaches at the site, which helps in effective operations at customer end.